Examination of the degree of deterioration of collagen fibres by ATR-FTIR

    Project Details


    Collagen based historical objects are widely found in Danish archives, libraries and museums. Loss of these objects means loss of important cultural heritage. In order to be able to prolong the lifetime of the objects, it is important to know their state of preservation, so the best choices concerning storage and treatment can be made.

    For years the shrinkage temperature measurement has been used to determine the degree of deterioration of leather and parchment. Recent research in this field indicates that the shrinkage temperature measurement alone does not show the whole truth. In addition it is necessary to evaluate the look of the individual fibres.

    Visual categorisation of parchment fibres according to eight different categories provides a good indication of the state of deterioration of the specific object. The eight visual categories may possibly represent a deterioration pattern from intact fibres towards heavily deteriorated fibres without any fibre structure.

    When a material deteriorates its chemical bonds will change, some will break and new will form. Against a reference these changes can be measured by Attenuated Total Reflectance - Fourir Transformans Infrared Spectrometry (ATR-FTIR) which is a method providing information on the chemical bonds within a material.

    A preliminary trial indicated that ATR-FTIR is a usuable method for describing different degrees of deterioration within a single collagen fibre.

    The purpose of this project is by the means of ATR-FTIR to analyse collagen fibres belonging to the eight different visual fibre categories in order to investigate whether the eight categories should be related to different stages of deterioration or whether the eight categories should be related to different ways of deterioration.
    Effective start/end date01/01/200901/01/2014